Camping in Puerto Rico

Camping in Puerto Rico by Seth Berry

During my one-month stint in Puerto Rico the plan was to tent out every night of the journey around the island. I try to do this anytime I travel, regardless of where I am. It allows for more freedom, a deeper connection to the land, and most importantly: it's free! More or less I accomplished this, other than the times I was visiting/staying with my girlfriend's family.

We mostly camped on or near beaches. Now, this may sound like paradise, but it has it's imperfections. Don't get me wrong...being on the ocean, watching the sun fall over the horizon and burning a fire from coconut hairs and drift wood is amazing. But sand gets everywhere! In your shoes, the tent, the drinks and food. This can test your patience. After a month of accumulating sand, our car's floor looked like a beach.

Another factor we wrestled with—mostly psychological in our case—was the fear of robbers, thieves, and petty criminals. We had heard many stories, some first hand and some well known from newspaper headlines about smashed windows, stolen cars, mugged campers and assaulted tourists. Each night we worried about our car being broken into or stolen. We waited until dark to pitch our tent, always trying to stay unseen. Lastly and most distressingly, I would stay awake fabricating terrible scenarios in which unseemly, barbaric locals emerged from the jungle brush to attack me and take everything I own. Of course this never happened and I believe the reputation of Puerto Rico is misrepresented by the tales and warning signs we had heard.

On the upside, I watched the sun set and rise each day. I drank rum on the beach and soaked up the rays. I took astro shots with our tent in the foreground. All in all in was a great experience. Enjoy the shots!